wild feminine souls

Erin's class Katariina Fagering

I created this in Erin’s class, Big Wild She

I don’t paint to someday be a world-renowned painter. I am aware that my true gift is in my photography but still I paint because it soothes and heals my soul. The process of scribbling, slopping around paint, pasting on collage pieces and intuitively listening to what is next is all for the health and sanity of my being or my soul. I work out and unravel my stuck points in the swirling of paint, pencils and pastels.

crystal at Earthrise by Katariina Fagering

I can easily soothe and heal my own soul while painting in solitaire but when I create in the presence of other women my soul opens wide and releases exponential tensions and concerns. There is just something truly magical about being in the presence of so many creative women. This is why I go to art retreats.

alena hennessy's class by Katariina FAgering

Last month I travelled down to Petaluma California for The Call of the Wild Soul Art Retreat hosted by my dear friend, Erin Faith Allen. I had the honor of being one of the opening night speakers (I’ll share my talk in a following post) which was thrilling and a powerful experience but like I said earlier, for me the true magic unfolded and unraveled while creating art with the 60 or so gorgeous wild feminine souls who showed up.

Alena's class by Katariina Fagering

The energy is tangible and almost crackles around women artists committed to cultivating their wildness. When women gather and create with their hands, their hearts soften and open and they are able to listen to their own soul’s with more clarity. This is such a gift.

Earthrise by Katariina Fagering

The Call of the Wild Soul Retreats are especially sacred because Erin has a unique gift of putting together retreats that are more than just a gathering of women to be instructed on art. There is real soul cultivated and woven into her retreats. The land is just as much a part of the retreat as each instructor and participant. It allows for further opening and connecting. This retreat was held at EarthRise Center with rolling hills, ancient oaks, wild turkeys, deer, mists and mystery.

Earthrise by Katariina Fagering

The weekend was a dance in and out of creative explorations and expansions, all the while connecting with my heart and the deeper soul-stirring side of my being. This is where I want to create from and anything less has no juice or energy for me.

pears by Katariina Fagering

Join me next year at the upcoming Call of the Wild Soul Art Retreats. I really want to create with you, and you and you!

Sara Eliason by Katariina Fagering

Sara with her painting from Big Wild She

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dirty laundry last saturday night . . .

Sounds like a title to a song!

No it’s just what we are calling our beloved art gatherings that are blossoming ever so slowly, & gently with perfect timing in an ever-so-not-precious way. Which is important, of course. There is nothing precious about dirty laundry right? Also you don’t need to give it a lot of brain power, you just throw it in a tub, slosh it around a bit, wring it out, rinse, slosh, splat it, wring it, dip it, wiggle it, wring it again & then hang it up for everyone to see! under garments, unmentionables & all. Just hang it out to drip on the ground, letting it be absorbed into the earth, creating more life, growth, & so on! I’m sure you get the picture!

what i painted via a transfer of a photo of a plastic jesus

The only difference is we are doing all the wring-ing, sloshing, dipping, & wiggling with paint, brushes, inks, stamps, paper, wood, glue, gel mediums more paint & god only knows what!! It truly is a cleansing process & so amazing when it is done & you look down at what you created & then around the room at all the other creations & it’s like Whoa!!! How did that happen? Where did all the time go? How did we get so many amazingly different & unique creations?

the mess we left behind

Last Saturday night we gathered at my house for some Dirty Laundry (when you say dirty, think of the movie Joe Dirt & be sure to pronounce it, der-teeeee, or not). There were four of us luscious ladies, two men drinking wine in the other room, a toddler running in & out, & a teenager heading out to a Homecoming dance with her date & then returning before we were finished. It was a busy evening, but despite all that, we got some great creating done.

The theme for the evening was Ubuntu to go with the blog I had just wrote & it coincided with a talk that Vayu had just heard that day by Robert Thurman that spoke of a Buddhist idea that was very similar to ubuntu. From what I recall he spoke of how we can all be so arrogant in our thinking we are better, or smarter than others but we can only truly know when we know & listen to all points of view (I am probably not doing it justice but that’s what I got out of her sharing).  How serendipitous is that?

I must confess, I was so into the creating & being with my dirty sisters that I forgot to capture the moment in images to share here. I did however take photos of the mess that still sits on my dining room table, & asked the dirty girls to send me some photos of their creatings & some thoughts about the night.

Here is what the lovely Sara wrote, I love hearing her tell the story of the evening through her eyes & words.

sara's ubuntu of women

“Last night my sisters and I gathered to create art in the spirit of Ubuntu.  Amid a scattering of paper bits, paint and glue and a surrounding of candles, wine and soul food, a new sisterhood was formed.  Women who had not yet met, orbited one another, careful of each others unique dialects, learning to quietly arrange and pattern their movements in an unfamiliar hive.  We stretched ourselves to learn a new form of expression.  To
create art out of the generous offerings of our hostess in a method unexplored and somewhat uncomfortable for us.  Not knowing where and how to step can be a gift, a door opener and a unifier.  We left with art that will remind us of our journey.  Not masterpieces for a wall in a static composition, but whispers that remind us what it means to stretch and grow, to learn of each others unique lenses.  To see through the eyes of another provides us a clue as to how we fit in the larger web.  I am thankful for my Ubuntu art.  I am thankful for my sisters – those I have danced with and those I will one day.  I am thankful for the moments that stretch me and connect me and the whispers to take home to remind me of our shared journey.”

Danielle sent me these photographs of her collages. They are both inspiring & I wish I had captured them here that night with the beautiful smiles on the beautiful women who came to create together.

this was Danielle's first collage

This collage is sweet for me to see, because this woman in the left bottom corner photo is my Grandmother, Lila, playing like she is beating up her friend. The middle photo I took in 2001 or so of my good friend Ariana in Carlsbad, CA. She was one of my first clients. Then the top photo is called, The Journey & was taken on Camp Pendleton in California again back in 2001.

Danielle sent me this photo of her 2nd collage

I love how Danielle just jumped right in & started pasting paper on wood. Very audacious of her, & if you know me, you know I love audacious women.

My focus was to master the art of transferring images. There are numerous ways to do this but tonight I wanted to try two different ones. The first was with a gel medium painted on the ink side & laid down flat to dry then pull off, & the second is using transparent shelving paper. 

gel medium transfer of dictionary paper - i know it is backwards!

In these images both the plastic Jesus & the dictionary page were glued down. I think it is important to wait for them to dry. I didn’t & the image came up in areas, so I decided to paint over the plastic Jesus – which turned out pretty good – well I like it anyways.

ubuntu, in his name

The next way is outlined in Sara Ahearn Bellemare’s book, Painted Pages. I think it is on page 90, it turned out pretty good, but I think I could have taken off more paper. Again, I decided to paint over it, which I like but if I try again will not put so much paint – not over paint anyways. It’s one of those things I’m discovering.

transfer soaking from Painted Pages by sara ahearn bellemare

soak & rub off the back

end result - pretty translucent! I love it!

This is where I’m seeing that less paint could be more in this situation!

don't mourn her shackles, embrace your freedom to choose